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Tales of the Young Woodhead - or How I almost did not become the old Woodhead
Tales of the Young Woodhead - Cadet Basic Training (CBT)
Tales of the Young Woodhead - or Wwhere is my book?

Tales of the Young Woodhead


A family mystery resolved

    Our family is a family of readers. I remember every evening, after we had bathed and put on our pajamas, my sisters, my brother and I would gather around one of our parents, and they would read us a bedtime story. These stories were from Kipling’s Just So Stories among other books. The children would swap positions (depending on who get to the couch first) with who sat nearest our parents. To assuage our curiosity, the assigned parent would show us the pictures in the story. We were behaved enough that we never demanded more than one story from the book What a Jolly Street. While I have fond memories of these stories, the bedtime stories petered out once we began reading on our own. (Note: afternoon naps were the ideal time to read on our own! we did not need a flashlight under the covers by which to read)

    We had so many of our own books (gifts, purchased through the schoolbook purchase programs) that the time-honored punishment of sending the child to their room, was not viewed by us as punishment. That is where our books were.

    It should come as no surprise that we developed a love for reading and our house had a library. There were so many books and shelves, you might conclude books were our favorite wallpaper. Each of the children had their own favorite genre. Mine were Science fiction and military history. I even had a subscription to a magazine that covered a different aspect of science (The Planets, the human body etc.) Two related tales, which I may relate another time, are the time I corrected my science teacher and getting kicked out of the summer library story time.

    Every Christmas, one of the perennials (and favorite gifts) was a book, along with toys of course. This love of reading led to a mystery when one of my books disappeared. I tended to read myself to sleep at night (a common problem among book readers is reading for TOO long before sleep). So, I had a book on my nightstand. My mother, knowing my love of science and science fiction, had purchased and given me the book Gods and Ancient Astronauts By von Daeneken’. It was my current evening reading, and soon to be the cause of a mystery.

    One Sunday evening, I reached for my book. It was gone. I questioned my siblings and parents as to the possible individual who might have taken my book. As we all loved reading, I suspected the book had been ‘borrowed’ not stolen as no one in our family would EVER harm a book. My mother responded “No one even understands the things you read. Why would any of us take your book?” Since the book stayed on my nightstand, it was not a case of me misplacing the book elsewhere. But I began a marathon search of all the places in the house where a book might hide. I even listed the places searched in my notebook. I was a regular little detective. I picked out anouther book from my growing collection of 'books I intend to read' from the stack in my bedroom, and started reading that book.

    One day, when I entered my room, the book was lying on my bed. I happily exclaimed 'Here is my book'. (Note:The parable of the lost sheep 'could' be rewritten as Woody and the missing book.) While questioning the return of the book, I resumed my evening readings.

    It was years later; my mother revealed the secret of the disappearance. She had entered my room during the day. She saw the book and started to leaf through it. She did not understand what she was reading, so assumed it must be either pornography or other material inappropriate for one of my age. (Remember, this was a book SHE had purchased for me). So, she took the book and hid it. Months later, she was watching TV and the author was being interviewed. He spoke about the book. My mother realized the book, while advanced for one of my age, was not inappropriate. She returned the book to my room.

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